Pressing toward the Goal
Four women who are members of a hiking team are doing just that: pressing toward their goal of hiking 30 miles in 3 days which will include hiking a small portion of the Appalachian Trail. Theirs is not only a physical goal but a spiritual one as well.
As I write this, I am sitting in a house at a mountain retreat in the Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, TN. I am the fifth member of the team mentioned above, but my goal is somewhat different. I am not here to hike the physical mountain., rather, I am here to write. However, our spiritual goals are the same: to take the spiritual mountains in our lives as well as to pray for our country, especially during these times of turmoil both nationally and internationally.
We are praying that our nation will return to the principles upon which it was founded. We are praying for unity among our leaders in local, state and federal government. We have prayed for the citizens of our country and that the eyes of their and our understanding will be opened to the spiritual truths that the Lord wants them and us to receive. If you are reading this and are not a U.S. citizen, perhaps you are praying for your country in the same way. If not, this article might be an incentive for you to start a similar group to pray for your own nation.
Although the five of us live in three different states in the U.S., we rode here by minivan together after meeting in a centralized location. We prayed over each state through which we traveled—eight altogether (if you count flying over the same as traveling through). We have prayed together as a group and individually. The lady hikers pray as they ascend the path to the summit of whatever trail they are hiking each day. I pray as I remain in the retreat house to write. At night, we come together as a group to review the day and to share what God has done in our lives. We have been refreshed and refilled in our relationship with the Lord. Another of our goals is to be able to say with the Apostle Paul:
Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.
One of the goals which the Lord has for each of us five women, and perhaps for you as well, is that we leave the past behind. The five of us are different in age and our backgrounds and life experiences, but we all have issues from the past which we need to turn totally over to the Lord.
My four companions call themselves “mountain takers,” both physically and spiritually. They are members of the Leading Ladies Expedition1 and are aware that neither they nor I can “live forward”2 nor accomplish anything for the Lord until we each make a commitment to PUT THE PAST BEHIND. None of us can conquer the mountains in our lives if we are carrying a load of emotional baggage which will hinder us from reaching “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (see Philippians 3:14 NKJV)
In Philippians the Apostle Paul goes on to say:
All of us who are spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the attitude which God is leading you to adopt. It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we have ourselves attained to. Philippians 3 15-16
What a goal to joyfully reach for with outstretched arms!
Thank you, Father, for your mercy and your grace! Thank you for the marvelous examples of those who have gone before us who have left us living legacies of how the Lord worked in them to enable them to strive for and ultimately reach the goals which You set before them! May we also give our “utmost for Your highest!”3
In Jesus name, Amen
1. Leading Ladies Expedition. (2016). Michelle Pearson. Retrieved from the Picture of Health website: http://thepictureofhealth.com
2. Hyatt, M., Harkavy, D. (2016). Baker Books
3. Chambers, O. (2016). Retrieved from the Wikipedia website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My Utmost_for_His_Highest
Notes From Team Joy:
1. Please click to “Subscribe To Our Newsletter” to make sure you get all the latest and greatest updates on what’s happening in our Community.
2. Please take the time to encourage our Writer’s by commenting on their articles. We work with independent writer’s who are working hard to write socially redeeming and joyful articles, so if they’ve written something you’ve enjoyed we’d sure appreciate you giving them a few words of praise in the comment section.
3. Please check out our latest Articles; we really depend on our Community members to get the word out, so please like, comment and share articles with your friends!
4. And finally, we are an Ad supported ministry, so we rely on our Community members to show us support not by donating money…but just by donating your clicks to check out what our advertisers have to offer. We have worked hard to find advertisers that fit with our values and principles, so we know they’ll appreciate you taking a look!
Thank you for being part of our Community!